Sean Goodman - Sleight of Mind

Norwich Playhouse

> Norwich Playhouse

Sean Goodman's unassuming stage presence belies a showman's deadly accuracy with magic.

Tricks are long and complex and feature all the favourite ingredients: cards, words, lucky numbers and lottery tickets.

But instead of the usual mechanical jiggery-pokery, here the game is with the mind. His tools are mental manipulation and psychic suggestion. And he plies them to the full.

We saw him read thoughts and shift people from chair to chair to place them where he wanted; we watched him play on our fellow audience so they chose the numbers in his head, and we saw him apparently predict the future. There was even a long and heart-stopping sequence in which people volunteered their £20 notes and saw them sealed up and tossed on the floor with identical empty packets. All but one was shredded, apparently at random. Needless to say, the money was untouched.

But how was he doing it?

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The power of suggestion? Low-level hypnotism? A trick with the eyes? The knack of reading body language?

I found it a puzzle.

I shall be pondering his methods for some time to come.